It’s been a while since Isis staged a major attack on the West. Occasionally the group’s degraded propaganda organs will try and claim one, but even that is less common nowadays. Still, just because Isis central isn’t orchestrating mass murder in Europe, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t still people killing in the name of jihad — if anything, the Islamist terror threat is still claiming many more lives and much more frequently than we realise.
The overwhelming focus from authorities, political leaders and the press has become the personal and psychological dramas of the perpetrators. After every incident, the attackers’ pasts are combed and every twist and turn in their tangled biographies is retrospectively injected with significance and relevance to their (often much later) decision to kill.
Of course, the personal profiles of perpetrators are important, but the resultant disconnection of the spate of stabbings, vehicular attacks and, less frequently, shootings and bombings across Europe leaves us in danger of prematurely writing off the lingering jihadist threat.